Monday, March 28, 2011

November 15 and 16 (Day 32 and 33)

November 15
This was an exciting day in our journey. Joanna's Aunt Venita was arriving late that meant that our journey was coming to an end as my mom and mother in law were coming the next day. (I don't really remember what we did this day) Here are some pictures that Amy and Jeremy took (couple from our guesthouse adopting a little boy).

 These two sisters were getting ready to go to America.
November 16
We walked around with Aunt Venita to show her some of the city. We started off by going to Khaldi's were I had the best strawberry juice... kind of like a smoothie. Then we walked up the street a bit taking in the city. The streets of Addis are full of people everywhere. People walking, people sitting, people trying to sell you stuff, people begging, people shinning shoes, people are everywhere.  After walking a bit we went to eat at Lime Tree. Here are some pictures from that day.

 Joanna's Aunt Venita

Late that night Driver Solomon and I went to the airport to pick up my mom and mother-in-law. Never in my life have I been so happy to see them, so happy in fact that I started crying. Just a wave of emotions...knowing I was going home soon, happy to see some familiar people, excited for them to meet Solomon and see Ethiopia. After getting back to the guesthouse (it was only 5 minutes away at most), I went to go to sleep but Solomon woke up so I introduced him to his grandmas. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

November 12-14, (Days 29-31)

November 12,
Solomon and John had appointments that morning to see the doctor for their embassy appointments. So I organized all of our stuff from moving guesthouses and just relaxed.

Now I didn't write down what I did from days 13-14 but I know I did these things during that time.

We said goodbye to the Plumbs as they were getting to go home! We met them at the Lime tree for one last lunch. Sad to see them go, but excited for them to start their journey as a family at home.

Giving an 11 month old eye drops by yourself is not easy!! His eyes and nose were so crusty..I felt so bad for him. I was supposed to meet with Dr. Mykias that Saturday so he could recheck Solomon, but he never showed. Apparently he forgot about our appointment :) So another doctor saw him and continued to see him over the next week. Solomon continued to have diarrhea so the doctor felt that he needed to switch medication and be given injections so I had to go to the pharmacy to purchase needles..kind of crazy. You would think that the hospital would just have needles to use and charge me. We went back for three days to the hospital so that Solomon could get his injections. He slowly got better. While at the hospital we kept seeing this boy who had his face bandaged and look like he was missing part of it. We asked what happened to him and apparently he lived out in the countryside and went to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night outside, and a hyaena attacked him. He was living at the hospital waiting to go to America for a surgery to fix his face. I tried to find out where but they just said America.

Joanna and I's Ethiopian visas were about to expire so we went and had them extended. I had asked at the airport when we first arrived if they would extend it for me but was told no. It was a very easy process..although quite nerve racking. There are TONS of people waiting outside of the office selling stuff or trying to get a visa themselves. Our driver took us to the front of the line and we didn't have to wait :) You go through a women's security and are patted down and are not allowed to take in any electronics. The hardest part about the whole thing was finding where you needed to go to fill out the paperwork. There is a very small sign out of the way that tells you but we didn't see it until we asked several people. You fill out paperwork and the people there can help you. Then you are sent to another place and they ask some questions and take your picture for your new visa. You leave your passport and pick it up in a few days. It was very easy, but the nerve racking thing is that they can deny you a visa and you have to go home. Make sure you go before your 30 day visa runs out! We went back when we were told...a couple of days later, and they go through a stack of passports until they find yours and ask you if it is yours.

Joanna and I went and saw a movie...Due Date. We bought some boot-leg movies and watched them on my computer as the guesthouse did not have a dvd player. We went to the mall and I bought some Ethiopian t-shirts for Solomon as he gets older. We bought some chocolate chip cookie mix to make cookies at the guesthouse. The whole staff was watching us as they didn't seem to understand what we were trying to make. We tasted the batter before cooking and they were disgusting. Not sure if it was because of the eggs or just the mix..I would not recommend it!

We had 2 families stay with us at the guesthouse - not through Gladney. One family was a husband and wife there for their first court date and to meet their son. The second family was there to pick up their 2 daughters. The New Flower guesthouse was nice. Somewhat older, but it was clean and had a nice area outside for the boys to crawl around. The staff love, LOVE, LOVE the kids and always tried to cheer them up when they were crying or play with them. They offer free babysitting if someone is available so you can take a shower or run out to get something to eat.

 John and Solomon

Thursday, March 3, 2011

November 11 (Day 28)

November 11 (Day 28) Last day in Awassa

Poor Solomon had another bad night and didn't sleep so it was a rough day as I was sooo tired. His eyes were watering, nose running, and wouldn't really eat anything. We had plans that day to visit the area where Solomon was from. We drove through the area with the Gladney social worker who works in Awassa. Word of advise..he does not like tardiness :) The area he was from was more countryside with houses that actually have don't really see that in Addis. 

If you look closely at the house above you will see a drawing of a man shooting a lion. We asked what that was about and were told that it represented courage. We saw drawings similar to this on most of the houses. People were curious about us and would run up to our van. We stopped a few times to look at fresh fruit that was growing and khat. Lots of kids tried to sell us some khat. We then went back to the orphanage and said goodbye to the kids and workers. I thanked them for taking such good care of Solomon while he was there. I asked if there was anyway that we could go visit the hospital where Solomon was born to see if they could tell me anything about him. So off we went. There were tons of people sitting outside waiting to be seen.

Labor and Delivery room
We got to walk inside the room where he was born and all I could think about was what his birthmom went through. Solomon's birth name is Selamu which means peaceful. His birthmom named him this because she had such as peaceful delivery. (Solomon means peace - a name we had picked out before seeing him when we were just dreaming of our child...I love that they mean the same thing). So when we got to the hospital we asked if they had any information on him. The hospital staff was able to give me a birth notification card with his time of birth 7:10am and how much he weighed 4.4kg (9.7 pounds).  Such a big boy!! So glad I got to find out this information.

My poor baby smiling even though he was so sick.
After getting some there is really no where to eat on the way back to Addis, we headed out. Solomon seemed to get worse on the drive he had diarrhea in the van..egh.. and felt like he had a fever, but my thermometer was packed up in my bags somewhere. I asked my driver Solomon if he would call the Gladney doctor. The doctor agreed to meet us at the hospital once we returned. After what seemed like forever, we arrived in Addis and checked into the New Flower guesthouse late that night, dropping Joanna and John off. On the way to the hospital, Matt called, and I just burst into tears in the van on the way to the hospital. I was sooo tired and poor Solomon seemed so sick, and I just felt all alone. I was ready to get home. Driver Solomon was so wonderful and helped me so much with Solomon at the hospital. Dr. Mykias (sp?) met us at the hospital and diagnosed Solomon with a double eye infection, double ear infection, throat infection and wheezing. He gave us a prescription for his ear infection, wheezing/cough, and eye infection. We agreed to see the doctor on Saturday back at the hospital to check on how he was doing. After getting the prescriptions we went back to the New Flower and went to sleep.